Finding Hope

215/365 I hope you danceImage by kharied via Flickr

“H–o—oooooo—pe!  Where are you?”

I called as I looked in my desk drawer, under the manuscript sitting on my desk, between the books I'm studying to teach in a few weeks.

“Hope. Are you in there?”

As I looked in the kitchen sink, among the laundry around my recliner. 

I see a lot of work.  A lot of signs of life in these places, but no hope.

“Hope? Where have you gone?”

I said as I booted up my computer and searched the Internet. Maybe I should just stop looking for her.  I'm so tired and have been working so unbelievably hard this summer.

My shoulders sagged as I went to preplanning and worked through my days.  She wasn't here either.  Hope must be gone.

The bell rang and students filed into my room for the first day, looking me in the eye with eager anticipation. It was then that I saw her reflection in the pupils. The eyes of my students reflected her so that I was almost blinded like a spotlight cutting into midnight stargazing.

“Ahhhh. There you are, my friend, Hope. It is nice to find you again. I thought I'd lost you.”

Commentary on Losing “Hope”
In the summer and as we work, we get rest but sometimes amidst all of the work, we as teachers feel something is missing. That spark of excitement– something is just not there.

It is truly because we miss our students. Somehow the process of teaching and interacting with the minds of the Beautiful Generation is addictive to the point that I find myself feeling almost hopeless.Upset somehow.

And Finding Hope
But I know that once they enter my room. Once it starts again that everything will be back in place.

THEY are back.

All of the frustration, upsetness and yes, energy, vitality, greatness, and wonder of a generation of students who have captured my heart and imagination will be back in my life full force.

In some ways, I need a break from them and yet, I miss them terribly.

These upset feelings always end my summer like an exclamation point but I've found that in many ways I am upset from giving up days that are not governed by a bell but also nervous energy from starting another school year.

My list is huge, my mind is nervous, but I think that very soon, my heart will be ready.

Such mixed up thoughts that govern the teacher's heart. Such is the nobility of a profession that is oft misunderstood but truly noble in calling.

Remember your noble calling, Teacher!

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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Crudbasher July 30, 2010 - 7:26 pm

What a great way to end the week. Thanks Vicky!

Gildmattos July 30, 2010 - 8:29 pm

It’s so comforting to see we do share most of the same feelings. I’ll be back to the classroom next Monday and the other day I was talking about these mixed feelings we teachers have when we get to vacations time and the inevitable “goodbye-sayings”. As you said, somehow we do need a break – same way students need it. However, there is this feeling of emptiness as well. It takes me almost a week to find my way around. How come it’s 1:30 p.m and I’m NOT in a hurry to be at school by 2?
Great post as usual.
Warm wishes from Franca-SP-Brazil.

pattitchr July 31, 2010 - 2:20 am

I usually start getting that antsy feeling about two weeks into summer break. As teachers, we truly are blessed to begin each year with a clean slate and a group of fresh faces. Like you, I look forward to that opportunity to hopefully make a positive difference in their lives.

coolcatteacher July 31, 2010 - 3:17 am

It is amazing to see just how universal these feelings are! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this as well!

coolcatteacher July 31, 2010 - 3:18 am

You are among the nobility of teachers! It is so refreshing to see others who feel the same way!

Cynthiaanne999 August 2, 2010 - 1:06 pm

Thank you, I now have a word for the feeling. While I am not ready to give up my summer vacation, I do so miss this kids with that hope in their eyes, like sponges just waiting to soak up all that you have to offer them. Soon my dears.

teachies August 2, 2010 - 2:34 pm

There is nothing more hopeful than meeting your students. Our school starts in July so we have had our first day of school already. I decided to record it so that later in the year, when I am feeling worn out, I can look back and remember all the promise that my students and I have to live up to:

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Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere